Minnesota is trying to legalize sports gambling in the state, following the footsteps of New Jersey. However, the Indian tribes in the region are not happy with the state’s decision to move forward with it.
In most states with native Indian population, it is getting difficult for the administration to move forward with its legalization of sports gambling. This is because the tribes have mostly been allowed by law to offer all kinds of gambling options by law. The tribes in Minnesota are following through the same, and they suggest that they will fight the lawmakers’ move to legalize sports gambling. However, they also noted that they have no interest in offering this wagering option themselves.
Minnesota Senator Roger Chamberlain is optimistic that sports gambling has a bright future in the state. He is the chairperson of the Minnesota Senate Taxes Committee and has been strongly suggesting that expanded gambling operations should be started in the state. He is certain that this year will be the year of sports gambling. However, he also believes that the bills will need to be changed if they have to pass.
Most of these changes will be related to taxation of sports gambling activities. Some people back a 1% tax on all sports wagers placed in the state, but others believe that this will not be enough to help Minnesota revenues. An amount too low will not bring profits to the state, and an amount too high will discourage gambling operators from entering the market.
The second point of contention is the regulatory authority that will oversee the new kind of gambling activity. Some suggest that Gaming Control Board that is already taking care of gambling activities in the state should look after the sports wagers while others argue that there should be a new authority designed specifically for oversight on these wagers.
Minnesota was the first state to start gambling compacts with Indian tribes and currently has 11 tribal gaming facilities. Though these tribes do not offer sports gambling, any time they oppose the state in terms of gambling, they win. This time, they are preparing to fight the sports wagering move from the lawmakers.
The chairperson of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) recently wrote a letter to Governor Tim Waltz and legislative leaders claiming that they have no interest in the new wagers, but they would not allow the legislation to pass through. This is because the move would allow new commercial casinos to allow this activity in the state.
The letter also stated that the legislators should first study the implications of sports gambling in the state and examine the experience of other states where it has been legalized before taking a final decision.
Although the tribes seem opposed to the decision, their views do not affect the power of the lawmakers to discuss and pass a sports gambling law in the state.